You’re Soaking in it, pen and ink doodle on graph paper, doodle © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
Madge: Ei, alá, you’re so-king in it…
Client: ¡Chale! ¿De véras?
Madge: Sí, hombre, te digo la verdad.
Client: ¡Oralé! ¿Qué pasó? Was there a ganga at Dollar Store?
Madge: Bitche, how did you know??
-Inspired by Topic post, Cleanliness.
-Related to post, Everything I Know About Cleaning I Learned From My Mother.
Archive for August, 2007
Posted in Art, Culture, Doodling, Film / TV / Video, Laughing, Practice, tagged chicana identity, Madge the manicurist, Palmolive dishwashing liquid, What If So-and-So Were Chicano series, ybonesy doodles on August 31, 2007 | 15 Comments »
Posted in Family, On the Road, Photography, Place, Random, Skies, Things That Fly, Work, Writers, Writing, tagged aerial photographs, aerial shots of San Jose, cell phone photography, plane pics, San Jose from the sky on August 29, 2007 | 12 Comments »
Arriving San Jose, CA, August 29, 2007, photo © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
I don’t know if it’s my cell phone camera, the older airplane, or San Jose, but something about this photo reminds me of a bygone era.
We’re staying in downtown San Jose. I love it.
Posted in Essay, Family, Film / TV / Video, Home, Memoir, Personal, Practice, Relationships, Topic Writing, tagged cleaning rituals, folding clothes, memories, mothers and daughters on August 28, 2007 | 18 Comments »
I have a picture in my head of Mom. She’s wearing soft denim shorts to just above her knees. Her hair is in curlers, a red bandana tied around the curlers, a cigarette on her lip. Next to her, on the floor, is a flat metal ashtray, the kind that folds like tin when you bend it. We are both sitting on a rug in front of the TV. She’s watching Another World. Mom likes the plain-looking older woman, Ada, but not Rachel, Ada’s daughter. I’m not allowed to talk while the action is taking place; fortunately, commercials come on every few minutes.
Mom watches Another World every day at this hour, shortly before our nap and right after our lunch. She only superficially follows As the World Turns and General Hospital. General Hospital is the hottest thing going on in soap opera drama, but Mom has never been one to follow trends. It is Ada and Rachel she is faithful to.
This particular day Mom has a basket of clothing by her side, and like one of those chowders you buy nowadays that comes in a bowl made of bread, Mom’s basket of clothing never seems to get all the way down to the bottom. She folds, smokes, watches TV. Smokes, watches TV, folds again.
I have had this memory before, and in it Mom is sometimes watching something other than Another World. One time it is John F. Kennedy’s assassination or funeral, I’m not sure which, although I do know I would have been too young to remember either. Yet, the details of that memory are especially acute: the orange cotton jumper Mom is folding, the one she sewed herself for Janet. The white hard plastic of the laundry basket. The cold tiles on the floor where my hand rests. What it is about that spot? Did we sit there often?
I am always young in my memory of that place, as is Mom. We are both earnest, both willing to be the best we can be at our respective roles. Mom is still willing to take her laundry basket with her to wherever she goes to sit; she still folds the clothes into piles while smoking her cigarettes and watching her soap. She is still kind to me, making me lunch, trying to show me the ways of moms.
Later on, in a newer house, she will keep all the clothes in a basket underneath the ironing board perpetually set up, but rarely used, in the master bedroom. The basket will get so full of clean clothes that a second one will be employed. All my clothes and those of my sister and brother will be stuffed into those two baskets, shirts on top of socks, pants on top of shirts, occasionally a set of clean sheets or a bedspread thrown on top of the entire heap. By the time any of us pulls out an item to wear, it will be so wrinkled from the weight of every other item that no amount of ironing, not even with steam nor the spray of a water bottle, will take out the indentations that soon become the hallmark of our fashion.
By then I will be sassy and sarcastic towards Mom. I will snarl at her, call her names, become an unruly teenager. I will throw a bottle of nail polish at her when she makes a snide comment about my boyfriend. But in that one long-ago memory, the one where Mom and I sit on the floor together, I watch her with big eyes. I notice how well she maneuvers her many devices — the television, the clothes, her cigarettes, the ashtray. I love everything about her, especially her smell, which I now realize is exactly the scent of clean laundry.
I wonder what it is about folding clothes that repeats itself, like a little ballerina doing pirouettes in my mind. Why not washing dishes or dusting, or scrubbing floors on her hands and knees? Mom wasn’t the kind of housewife who wore an apron. She didn’t whistle while she worked, nor did she sing. Mom didn’t buy into brand names — Tide and Palmolive (“you’re soaking in it!”). She called all powder disinfectant cleaners “Ajax,” even when she bought Comet. (Comet…it makes you vomit…so buy Comet, and vomit, too-dayyy…)
When I think of Mom and cleaning, I think of conflict. I think of anger and resentment. She hated to clean. She was so impatient she wouldn’t even allow us to clean. “I’ll make your beds, just get out of my hair,” she told us. Mom was a nervous wreck (her words) when I was growing up. She had too many kids, and eventually things started to happen. Teen pregnancy, drugs, smoking, drinking.
She wasn’t a controlling woman; she only cared that things were “clean enough.” But cleaning was just one more chore she never really wanted to sign up for. Mom was happiest when she was sitting over coffee with Tomasita from across the street or playing poker with her friends or watching her soap opera.
Maybe that’s why this particular memory of folding clothes while watching TV comes to me again and again. And this, always this: She asks me to go get her a glass of water. I jump up and run to the kitchen. There on the counter is an open package of windmill cookies with almond slivers. I take a piece of a broken cookie, put it my mouth and let it melt while I fill up her glass. It is quiet in the house for once, just the sound of breathy voices coming from the television, and that stark sensation that daytime TV produces. While the the rest of the world is out doing what they do and Mom is here with me, doing what it is we do.
-Based on a ten-minute practice from Topic Post, Cleanliness.
Posted in 25 Things, Art, Culture, Family, Food, Home, Personal, Photography, Place, Seasons, tagged 57 foods on-a-stick at the Minnesota State Fair, Butter Queen, Fair food, Minnesota history, Minnesota State Fair, Minnesota State Fair Press Kit, summer on August 26, 2007 | 118 Comments »
-Minnesota State Fair Button 2007, quick snapshot after breakfast (notice the little piece of dirt on the middle right edge!), Minneapolis, Minnesota, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
It’s Minnesota State Fair time! And after over 150 years, it’s a Minnesota tradition. The Minnesota State Fair is the 2nd largest State Fair in the U.S., second only to Texas. However, while the Texas State Fair runs for 24 days and has a larger annual attendance, the Minnesota State Fair is only 12 days with a greater number of people attending each day.
One of the most significant dates in the Fair’s history was September 2nd, 1901 when then-vice president Teddy Roosevelt was visiting and first uttered the famous phrase, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”
Liz and I are heading to the Fair tomorrow afternoon. If it’s not raining, we’ll take the motorcycle and park in the lot set aside especially for us. Sweet! I don’t like crowds (attendance at the MN State Fair in 2006 was 1,689,579), so the highlight of the Fair for me is the food (what else?).
We are famous for our Fair food on-a-stick. Below is a complete list (from the Minnesota State Fair Press Kit, a great resource for everything Fair). Liz and I wrote down a few we want to try: espresso on-a-stick, hotdish on-a-stick, chocolate-covered nutroll on-a-stick, wild rice corndog on-a-stick, deep-fried fruit on-a-stick, and, let’s not forget, SPAM curds!
We’ve also got a friend working at the Fair this year (thanks for the buttons!). So we’ll be sure to stop by and visit her. And the Minnesota State Fair is a photographer’s paradise. There’s the fantastic people watching, the amazing art in the Fine Arts Building, the Milk Run, and the Princess Kay of the Milky Way Coronation organized by the Midwest Dairy Association.
Since 1953, the Princess Kay competition has recognized young women whose families are involved in Minnesota’s dairy industry (have I ever mentioned that Liz comes from a North Dakota dairy family?). Regional dairy princesses compete for the yearly title and the entire court have their likenesses carved out of butter during the Fair.
If you’ve never seen a butter sculpture, you are in for a treat! Hope to see you at the The Great Minnesota Get-Together. Or if you can’t attend, tell us about the Fairs in your part of the world!
MN STATE FAIR – FOODS ON-A-STICK
- Alligator Sausage on-a-stick
- Bacon Wrapped Turkey Tenderloin on-a-stick
- Beef Kabobs on-a-stick
- Beer Battered Brats on-a-stick
- Bomb Pops on-a-stick
- Butterscotch Cake on-a-stick
- Candy Apples on-a-stick
- Candy Bars (deep fried) on-a-stick
- Caramel Apples on-a-stick
- Cheese on-a-stick
- Chicken on-a-stick
- Chocolate Chip Cookies on-a-stick
- Chocolate Covered Bananas on-a-stick
- Chocolate Covered Cheese Cake on-a-stick
- Chocolate Dipped Nut Roll on-a-stick
- Coffee (frozen) on-a-stick
- Corndogs on-a-stick
- Corned Beef and Cabbage on-a-stick
- Cotton Candy on-a-stick
- Dessert Dumplings on-a-stick
- Espresso (frozen) on-a-stick
- Fried Fruit on-a-stick
- Fried Jalapeño Pepper Cheese on-a-stick
- Fried Swiss Cheese on-a-stick
- Fudge puppies on-a-stick
- Hot Dish on-a-stick
- Hot Dogs on-a-stick
- Key Lime Pie Dipped in Chocolate (frozen) on-a-stick
- Kiddi Kabobs on-a-stick
- Macaroni & Cheese on-a-stick
- Marshmallows (Chocolate-dipped) on-a-stick
- Meatballs on-a-stick
- MinneKabobs on-a-stick
- Pickles on-a-stick
- Pickles (deep fried) on-a-stick
- Pickles (Kool-Aid) on-a-stick
- Pizza on-a-stick
- Poncho Dogs on-a-stick
- Pork Chops on-a-stick
- Pronto Pups on-a-stick
- Rueben Dog on-a-stick
- Salmon on-a-stick
- Sausage on-a-stick
- Scallops on-a-stick
- Scones on-a-stick
- Scotch Eggs on-a-stick
- Shrimp on-a-stick
- Sloppy Joes on-a-stick
- S’mores on-a-stick
- Spaghetti & Meatballs on-a-stick
- Spudsters on-a-stick
- Super Dog on-a-stick
- Taffy Pops on-a-stick
- Vegetable Kabobs on-a-stick
- Wild Rice Corndog on-a-stick
- Walleye on-a-stick
Total number of foods on-a-stick: 56
NEW MN STATE FAIR FOODS IN 2007
• Apple fries (julienne apples crumb-coated and deep-fried)
@Coaster’s, located on the corner of Liggett Street and Carnes Avenue
• Blackened steak wrap with steak, eggs, potatoes and cheese
@Ragin Cajun, located on the west wall in The Garden
• BLP (bacon, lettuce, pico de gallo) quesadilla
@Tejas, located on the north wall in The Garden
• Buffalo chips and cheese
@Delicious Potato Skins, located inside the south door of the Food Building
• Butterscotch cake on-a-stick (a cream-filled cake dipped in butterscotch)
@Scotch Eggs, located east of the Horse Barn on Liggett Street
• Cajun shrimp wrap with shrimp, eggs, potatoes and cheese
@Ragin Cajun, located on the west wall in The Garden
• Calamari Fish and Chips
@two locations: inside the Food Building on the west side; west of Liggett Street on the northeast corner of the Horse Barn
• Coca-Cola cheesecake dipped in chocolate on-a-stick
@Apple Lil’s, located in Heritage Square
• Corned beef and cabbage on-a-stick
@O’Gara’s, located inside the east door of the Food Building
• Fried fruit on-a-stick (pineapple, grapes, bananas, strawberries, apples, cherries, kiwi, honeydew and cantaloupe skewered, dipped in a sweet batter and deep fried)
@Fried Fruit, located in Carousel Park near the Grandstand Ramp
• Jambalaya with eggs, potatoes and cheese
@Ragin Cajun, located on the west wall in The Garden
• Knuckle sandwich (brined pork with sweet & zesty sauce and caramelized onions on a hoagie bun)
@Famous Dave’s, located north of Adventure Park on West Dan Patch Avenue
• Kool-Aid pickles
@Famous Dave’s, located north of Adventure Park on West Dan Patch Avenue
• Lingonberry turnovers
@Rainbow Ice Cream, three locations: east of Underwood Street and just south of Carnes Avenue under the Skyride; southwest corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street; west of Underwood Street, between Wright Avenue and Dan Patch Avenue
• Old fashioned ice cream sodas
@Bridgeman’s, located on the northwest corner of Judson Avenue and Liggett Street
• Peanut butter hot dog
@Blue Moon Dine-In Theater, located on the corner of Carnes Avenue and Chambers Street
• Rocky road scones on-a-stick (scones with chocolate chips, caramel and marshmallow, rolled and baked)
@French Meadow, located inside the southeast door of the Food Building
• S’mores on-a-stick
@Ultimate Confections, located inside the east door on the lower level of Grandstand
• Soda fountain funnel cakes (topped with Coca-Cola, Cherry Coke, Sasparilla, whipped cream or custard)
@Apple Lil’s, located in Heritage Square
• Sloppy joes on-a-stick
@Axel’s, located on the southeast corner outside the Food Building
• SPAM burger, Hawaiian SPAM burger, SPAM curds
@SPAM Burgers located in Carousel Park under the Grandstand Ramp
• Uffda brat (Norwegian brat wrapped in potato lefse)
@Sausage Sisters, located inside the east door of the Food Building
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, August 26, 2007
Posted in Art, Bones, Culture, Essay, Gratitude, Personal, Spirituality, Structure, Vision, Wake Up, Work, tagged being productive, finishing what you start, Saint Lucy, Santa Lucia, unfinished projects, ybonesy doodles on August 23, 2007 | 45 Comments »
Half-baked Chicken, a paper mache-in-progress chicken started years ago, photo © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
I have a retablo painting I did of Santa Lucia carrying her eyeballs on a plate. Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the blind, the saint to invoke for clarity. Vision. She is my favorite saint, possibly because of those perfectly round eyeballs that sit like a teacup on a saucer (and the fact that she walks around not with empty sockets but rather with another set of seemingly perfectly functioning eyes).
Unfortunately, I haven’t finished my painting of Saint Lucy. I started it about four years ago. She’s gone through several metamorphoses. A high-collared purple tunic. A low-collared maroon tunic. A low-collared maroon tunic and cleavage. (Scandalous!)
The clarity she’s given me is that I’ve always struggled to finish my art.
I’m trying to figure out where this comes from. I don’t not finish my work projects. But my work projects have deadlines and people checking to see if I’m meeting my deadlines. I complete most my daily chores — making breakfast and packing lunches, doing dishes after dinner, posting on the blog. If someone is relying on me for something — a letter to the editor or an appearance at a political event — I almost never let that someone down. Yet, I let myself down all the time.
On the shelf across from Saint Lucy is a half-finished chicken. I made its body out of the torn-off corner of an empty dog food bag. It’s a paper mache project I started five years ago. I wanted to paint it bright blues and pinks and greens and shellack the whole thing into a shiny, festive piece of folk art. I even made the feet, although I couldn’t figure out how to attach them to the body. I have everything I need — the paint, the wire, even the shellack. I just need Me. To. Finish.
Personally, I’d like to blame it on my air sign. I am, apparently, mercurial. I’m supposed to not be able to stick with any one thing. Yet, I’ve always done art and writing, and I’ve always seemed reliable when it came to not finishing my art and my writing. I can’t get more stable than that.
Maybe my parents did it to me. Except, Dad has completed everything he ever set out to do. Years before he retired he started a list of Things To Do When I Retire. He was worried he might run out of ideas, so he grew his list for several pages of his pocket-sized memo pad. As far as I can tell, he’s done them all. Learned to oil-paint and completed many of the historic churches of New Mexico. Wrote his memoirs. Perfected his golf swing. Went to Spain. Built a patio deck and raised all the flowers he loved as a child.
Mom was much lazier. She watched As The World Turns and read National Enquirer, eventually graduating to Harlequin Romance. I could say it’s her fault. In fact, I will. And tomorrow when I call to tell her, she’ll remind me that while she might have put off the ironing and never made us breakfast, she did finish big projects. She and Dad refinished three large pieces of furniture, I now remember, including transforming our formal dining room table into a coffee table by chopping off its legs.
No, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s all mine. I don’t show up for me.
My two mentor teachers, Juanito and Natalie, finish everything they start. I’ve asked them. More than once just to make sure they answer the same way every time. They do.
So I’m making an effort to do the same. When I drew Bethanny, I hated her. Where did she come from? She just showed up on the page, and that smile of hers. And who was the guy in the picture frame. Bethanny wasn’t like any of my other doodles, and I wanted to skip over and start a new drawing. Which is what I did. And if it weren’t for the fact that I disliked that one even more — you should see him; he’s got a long neck and goofy glasses — I wouldn’t have gone back and finished poor Bethanny. But you know what? I did finish her, and I kind of like how she turned out. How’s that for clarity?
Saint Lucy, how do you work your magic when your shoes aren’t even filled in? The shawl on your shoulder was supposed to be yellow, I think. I notice that your pose is almost exactly the same as Bethanny’s. She’s got a grapefruit; you’ve got eyeballs. What a combination. I hadn’t even noticed until I started this post. I’d like to promise I’ll go back and finish you, but the truth is, it’s hard to go back. My style has changed. Plus, maybe you’re a better beacon unfinished than you are fully done. Maybe that makes you vulnerable like me. Me, you, and the uncooked chicken. Looking at what’s in front of us. A blank page to fill.
Posted in Art, Body, Culture, Dreams, Film / TV / Video, Gratitude, Growing Older, Memoir, Money, Photography, Practice, Relationships, Spirituality, Vision, Writers, Writing, tagged Charis Wilson, documentaries, documentary filmmakers, Edward Weston, Eloquent Nude, famous photographers, film, honoring those who came before us, Ian McCluskey, Julie Gliniany, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minnesota history, Riverview Theater, support Independent film, the value of the Arts, vintage theaters on August 22, 2007 | 19 Comments »
Riverview Theater, vintage 1948 sign, designed by Liebenberg and Kaplan, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved
A good friend called me last Sunday completely revved up about a film she had seen at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis. The last showings were scheduled for Sunday at noon and 5:30p.m. and she said we had to go see it. Both the director and the producer were going to introduce the film and stay afterwards to answer questions.
As soon as I heard it was a documentary on the model most often photographed in Edward Weston’s work, I knew I wanted to see it. It was a rainy Sunday and at 10:30, Liz and I were still in our pajamas, drinking morning coffee; we didn’t have long to get ready. We tried to make the noon showing but got there too late. Instead of missing the first 15 minutes, we decided to head downtown to take photographs and come back for the 5:30. Were we glad we did!
Eloquent Nude – The Love And Legacy Of Edward Weston & Charis Wilson is directed by Ian McCluskey. Ian appeared down-to-earth, excited, and passionate when he talked about the film. He did an excellent job of interviewing, editing, and paring the footage down to just the essentials.
The final product skillfully reveals his vision for the film – to capture the essence of the relationship between photographer, Edward Weston, and poet, writer, and model, Charis Wilson. The film reaches far past their marriage, to reveal the minds and hearts of two people bound by artistic love and creative drive.
McCluskey explained that he had always wondered who the woman was in the Weston photographs. When he started to dig into it, he discovered Charis and in a moment of bravery, contacted her, filmed over 8 hours of interviews, and, well, the rest is history.
He talked about the tender moment when he worked up the courage to give her a call and then stumbled over his words. “It’s an honor to finally talk to you,” he said. In the cut-to-the-point, direct humor that carried over into the film, Charis laughingly said, “Oh, he says it’s an honor.”
Producer, Julie Gliniany, originally from the Twin Cities, eloquently spoke about the project and how she met Ian through an ad on Craigslist. A few years and a lot of work later, Eloquent Nude is a reality. Julie was beaming when she talked about nervously screening the film at the home of Charis Wilson, now 93 and legally blind. They set up a big screen TV and Charis sat close to the action.
About half way into the film, Charis asked her daughter to stop the viewing, turned to Julie and Ian and said, “If my tear ducts hadn’t clogged up years ago, I’d be crying my eyes out. These are the home movies I never had.”
I can’t recommend this film enough. I was riveted to Charis Wilson’s expressive face, honest commentary, and candid sense of humor. And after hearing Ian and Julie speak about their work, I walked out of the Riverview completely inspired to tackle my own creative projects.
Julie and Ian took a chance; they went out there and did something that was close to their hearts. They didn’t have a lot of money but they had an idea that they believed in; they placed ads, got the crew together, contacted Charis and made their vision a reality.
Before we left the historic Riverview Theater (designed by Liebenberg and Kaplan in 1948, with many of the original furnishings), Liz signed up for their email list. Today she got an email from the producer, Julie, that the film had been held over at the Riverview another week. I had already planned to blog about the experience, but Julie’s email gave me that extra zip I needed to get this post out tonight.
Here’s what she said:
Thank you so much for such a warm welcoming in Minnesota over the weekend. Ian and I are safely back in Portland, enjoying the August sunshine and already missing the friendly crowds, Scandinavian accents, and potato salad of the Midwest (I know, my accent isn’t too far from gone).
We wanted to write and let you all know that due to the huge success of ELOQUENT NUDE, the Riverview Theater has decided to hold the film over for an additional week!
As this obviously wasn’t included in the beautiful press we received we’re asking for as much help as you can offer to spread the word about the additional screening dates. Feel free to post this info on blogs, forums, work email lists, etc.. Although Ian and I will no longer be able to attend the screenings, we hope you will help us fill those seats and continue sharing this story.
3800 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis
Wed. Aug. 22nd at 5:30
Friday Aug. 24 – Thursday Aug. 30 at 5:30pm
Weekend Matinees at Noon on Aug. 25-26
Tickets are $2
Keep in touch!
Julie Gliniany & Ian McCluskey
Don’t miss this film! When it comes to your town, rain or shine, rush out in your pajamas, coffee clutched in hand, and see it. Grab some buttered popcorn and a box of Raisinets. And prepare to be moved.
-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
-Weston Photography – Kim & Gina Weston’s site – Historic and current photographs of the Weston family and history, including Charis Wilson and Wildcat Hill
-Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Interview with Charis Wilson, Conducted by Mimi Luebbermann, In Aptos, California, March 24, 1982 – Great candid interview with Charis, well worth the time.
-Weston Book Leads To Documentary Film, Oregon State Website, updated 2006 - Wendy Madar co-wrote the Charis Wilson memoir, Through Another Lens: My Years With Edward Weston. We checked a local bookstore last weekend and found the book to be out of print. But you may be able to find it used.
Bethanny and Grapefruit, pen and ink on graph paper, doodle
© 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
Posted in Body, Bones, Culture, Death, Family, Gratitude, Holding My Breath, Home, Life, Money, Personal, Photography, Place, Practice, Writing, tagged bridges, Gold Medal Park Memorial, Guthrie Theater, I-35 Bridge Collapse, Minneapolis bridge collapse, Minnesota on August 20, 2007 | 15 Comments »
Memorial, By Night, Gold Medal Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 5th, 2007, shot through the grove of trees at center circle, facing the I-35 Bridge, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
I heard on the 9p.m. news that they found the final and 13th person from the I-35 Bridge collapse. The final person as far as they know. Our visit to the Memorial two weeks ago was unplanned. Liz had purchased tickets in May to see 1776 at the Guthrie on August 5th. We had plans to take her Mom who flew in from Wyoming the night the bridge collapsed.
By the time of the Guthrie performance, the Memorial in the grove of trees in Gold Medal Park had already formed. We took some flowers to the play that night. Before the performance, we ate dinner and walked out on the Guthrie’s Endless Bridge to view the I-35 Bridge.
And after the performance, we trudged through the soggy grass up the hill in the dark, and placed the handful of flowers down under the trees. The bridge was lit up in the background. We said our prayers.
I wanted to wait until everyone was found to post these shots. The eerie, blue neon lines from the benches that square the trees on the hill at Gold Medal Park threw strange shadows on the handmade signs that night. A light breeze blew through the summer air.
We stood together silently for a while. Then walked down the hill, picked her Mom up in the lobby next to a group from the 1776 cast, drove through the city, and headed back home.
Perhaps tonight there is a little more peace. Yet I heard that 6 died yesterday in severe flooding down in southeast Minnesota. Roads, bridges, and railroad tracks caved in. Houses flooded, fell away in mudslides, and are buried in layers of silt.
Maybe there is no peace. Only the idea of it. And the gentle acceptance and quiet strength that reverberate through our town.
Memorial, By Day, Gold Medal Park, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 5th 2007, shot from high inside the Guthrie Theater, Memorial is in the center of the circle on the hill, left view is the reflection in the stainless steel window panel, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
-posted on red Ravine, Monday, August 20th, 2007
- related post: Bridge To Nowhere – The Great Connector
Posted in Animals & Critters, Bones, Family, Life, Personal, Place, Practice, Random, Work, Writing Practices, tagged Lindo the Rooster, rooster attack, stories about rooster attacks, the practice of writing on August 19, 2007 | 16 Comments »
-From my practice notebook, 8/9/05 (about two years ago)
My right eye is purple today, the eyelid, the area under my eye. So far the white of my eye is still white but already I can imagine a few days from now the old blood making its way down from the lid to the globus.
Globus. That was what the eye doctor called it. No damage to the globus, he said. But the risk, he continued, is that you’ll develop a secondary infection in your sinuses or in any of the areas back there. It could even go to your brain.
In the emergency room, or the Urgent Care’s version of an emergency room, they told me to lie down on a bed, and they pulled the thin blue curtain around me. I could hear the nurses and doctors walking in their rubber-soled shoes on the linoleum. Ploit, ploit, ploit, their footsteps seemed to say.
Over in one part of the room I heard someone talking in low tones to a patient about migraine headaches. Then two nurses or orderlies talking, a third and fourth person joining them. The one male voice was saying that his wife was craving steak so he took them out to eat at Texas Cattle Company the night before. Guess what she ordered, he asked the other nurses. What? Chicken tenders. They all break out in laughter.
He goes on like a newborn comedian: My son went to dinner at some friend’s and he came back that night and told us, Mom, Dad, they served us filet mig-non. Filet Mig-Non, the male nurse said for effect. They all burst into laughter again.
I sat in my space, folding my legs left over right, then right over left. I practiced my brave face, afraid that if anyone showed me the least bit of compassion I would start to cry. I noticed the blue fabric of the curtains seemed to have a repeating eye pattern. I thought, That’s spooky. A wall of medical supplies on one side and an evil eye staring at you from the other.
Finally, the curtains parted and a tall, stocky woman stepped in. She was wearing a white smock. She asked me about my eye, took a close look and in her eyes I could see almost a fear, What is this??, and she asked me about the rooster. I told her the story and still her face held that disgusted look, not a judging look but a disgust just thinking about a rooster on my face, like those pods in Alien, the original one, that wrap around a person’s entire head.
I told her I thought I needed tetanus. She agreed. I told her I should probably get something for infections. The rooster walks around all day in bird droppings, I said. Eww, yes, and again the bloom of disgust. That’s a good point, she said, all while continuing to stare at my eye.
In the background I could hear a man’s voice, Dr. Raul G. of the blue, blue eyes. I had hoped he’d attend to me but no, he is with the migraine headache patient while I am with someone whose mouth and eyes are stuck in the Yuck position. Don’t doctors see way worse than me? Maybe that’s ER, not urgent walk-in clinic.
And now I’m thinking, I wonder what she did when the retarded man with scrapes from his head down his elbow and thigh went in. Of course, he was oblivious, flipping through magazines as if they were those cool books that show frames of a cartoon that when you flip fast through the frames animate the images. A galloping horse.
Lindo the Rooster (now long gone), photo taken around
2004, a year before he attacked me.
Just in case you’re spending the weekend cleaning house, we wanted to give you a writing assignment that might make all that dusting and sweeping and scrubbing and vacuuming feel more like research than time wasted. Or maybe you’re the kind of person who never feels that cleaning is time wasted.
Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness.
What exactly are your cleaning habits? Do you make your bed every morning? Does laundry pile up until you’re out of clean underwear? Is your nickname Neat Nick or Sloppy Joe? Do you make a conscious choice not to clean, ever, or do you delegate the cleaning to others — a kind and loving partner, your roommate, the kids, Mini Maids?
Cleanliness is almost as bad as godliness.
For this writing practice, do a slow walk along the perimeter of the room in which you spend most your time. Start with your right foot. Walk slowly. You’re not in a rush to get anywhere. Let your eyes move around the room but don’t grab what’s in front of you. See it, let it go. Try not to mentally note what you see. Instead, take it in the way you might take in air. Breathe in, breathe out.
Cleanliness is next to impossible.
Then go sit down and do a ten-minute practice on the topic “Everything I know about cleanliness…” Talk about where your notions of cleanliness came from. Talk about the products you use. Describe your grit in as much detail as you can. Air that dirty laundry.
Posted in Dreams, Family, Laughing, Love, Photography, Practice, Random, Relationships, Seasons, Vehicles, tagged 600 miles, biking to school, courage, fathers and daughters, mountain biking on August 17, 2007 | 16 Comments »
“Yes, it will be fun.”
“But Mom said I could ride the bus some days.”
“Nah, you don’t want to ride the bus.”
“Yes I do.”
“Naaa, you’ll get four miles of riding in today.”
“But I don’t want to ride everyday.”
“Yeah you do. Four miles a day is 20 miles a week. That’s, like…let’s see, there are 30-some weeks in a school year, so that’d be…that’s over 600 miles!”
“Wow, that’s a lot!”